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Is Raisin Bran Healthy?

Making time in the mornings for a nutritious breakfast not only gets your family off to a healthy start to the day, but it gives you a bit of time to bond as a family before you go off to your activity-packed days. Serving simple cold cereal cuts your food prep time to virtually nil, and choosing a nutritious option, like raisin bran, benefits your health.

High in Quality Carbohydrates

Like most cereals, raisin bran gets the bulk of its calories from carbohydrates. Each cup of the cereal has 188 calories, which primarily come from 46 grams of carbohydrates. Eating carbs in the morning is important. Since carbs are the body's preferred source of energy, that early carb intake powers your family up for the day ahead. And because raisin bran cereals are typically made with whole grains, they're also a rich source of dietary fiber, which in turn promotes heart health and helps keep you regular.

Enriched With Iron

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Most raisin bran cereals are fortified with iron, which means they're an abundant source of this essential mineral. Iron helps your body transport oxygen to keep your tissues energized, which makes it crucial for helping your children stay focused at school – and ensures you have the energy to keep up with them at home. Iron is also important for healthy immune system function, so it helps make that all-too-interminable cold season as pleasant as possible, and iron also plays a role in energy production to fuel your family's active lifestyle. A cup of raisin bran cereal has 7.3 milligrams of iron. That's about 40 percent of your daily iron needs, roughly half the daily iron requirements for adolescents, and between 75 and 100 percent of the daily iron needs for children.

Loaded With B-Vitamins

Raisin bran's impressive B-complex vitamin content is also energizing because this family of eight nutrients helps you (and your kids) metabolize and derive energy from the foods you eat. Most varieties of raisin bran come fortified with B vitamins, so you'll get generous amounts of the whole nutrient family. It's especially high in folic acid, which is important for healthy red blood cells, and vitamin B-12, which is crucial for a healthy nervous system and may be linked to better performance at school.

Serve It Smart

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When you're serving raisin bran, measure your portions to avoid over-serving. Since each cup of cereal has 188 calories, eyeballing your family's portions may lead to overeating – and as a calorie-dense food, those extra calories can add up. Consider serving smaller children a half-cup portion, and make the meal heartier by adding lower-calorie toppings like fresh berries or half a sliced banana. If your children love raisin bran, combine it with mixed nuts, a touch of honey and a bit of coconut oil to make DIY "granola bars" as a healthier alternative to the chocolate-dipped ones at the grocery store.

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